The story follows Christopher starting at the age of eleven. Christopher is a lover of nature and does more than to stop to smell the roses, but to really look at a rose. His parents are a sort of hold out from the sixties with his mother being into alternative therapies and vegetarianism. Christopher comes to meet a young girl from a Catholic family whose Catholicism is quite fervent.
This basic plot sounds like a setup of sort with a critique of the sixties and what will obviously happen with Christopher contact with this Catholic family. Though this is not how this story really plays out at all and transcends a setup plot to be something much more fulfilling. The story really kept me guessing and invested into it. Christopher is sort of haunted by contact with a series of Catholic girls in his young adult life and struggles between seeing the theological reality of something and seeing himself in that theological reality himself. His introduction to stories on Grail Knights spark his imagination, and while the novel refers to him as a young knight, he is not a young knight without struggles or temptations. The novel is very frank about these struggles which go beyond silly teenage angst but speak more of the human condition and specifically the struggle towards manhood.
I enjoyed the characters throughout the novel and Christopher’s parents are not simple stereotypes, but fully fleshed characters that contribute to the story. A well told novel that while having a good amount of Catholic red meat in it is enjoyable on several levels.